People like me belong to the rain— soaking in joy breathing out sorrow, tending to the dark roots and pain— a slow broadening of mossy green spreading wide after the summer storm.
I stay alive in muddy waters when the verdant swaddle of meadow is drowned in brown. It’s there I sought her to teach me the wisdom of the rain and to not be afraid of the dark.
It is with her I learned where I belong and how to navigate in a world reeking with sunshine and sappy song. Bring on the rain, for how else do I stay alive when dusk darkens the light?
—By Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan
I read a story this morning about the death of a lovely young Australian woman who was a farmer, ecologist, and inspiration to many on her TikTok.
Her family didn’t give details about her death, but her father said “every day should be ‘R U OK? Day,” a reference to an Australian holiday when people are encouraged to have conversations about mental health and suicide prevention with one another.
I absolutely agree.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they are Ok. Don’t be afraid to push a little to encourage them to reach out to a professional.
There is no shame in needing help. Or asking someone if they need help.
It’s ok to not be ok.
How else can we stay alive when the rain comes and dusk darkens the light?
Lately I have been reading through the Poetry Foundation website like a novel. Sometimes I search a theme, sometimes I just read through the site recommendations.
By doing this, I have discovered some amazing poets who were previously unknown to me, and I have also discovered some interesting forms of rhyme and meter.
I experimented today with a rather unusual rhyme scheme in an eight line stanza. It’s been so refreshing to take time each day and write. I’ll tell you, it does something good for my soul.
Never stop dreaming big dreams, friends—it’s the only way you’ll ever attain them.
On small boats, through the long canals, they came settling in the lowlands, digging ditches building dykes and drains, trying hard to tame the water running uphill. They resolved to change their thinking; new habits evolved and soon sleek dwellings began to appear great in hope and greater in scope than fear until the gleaming wheat claimed their riches.
Tell me why it is that hordes of locust love to swarm in the warm, wet month of May. Sudden rain like the mind keenly focused, calls and corrals a throng of living things. And so folks lived like paupers on shoe strings eating barley grass and growing green beans while listening to the constant humming of water flowing and tymbal thrumming. None too soon, the greedy beasts flew away.
And then more dreamers came, some in sleek boats skimming through the canals, seeking reprieve from the mundane and stale in hull-less oats; some carting a lifetime of hopes and dreams in broken barges with leaking seams. But come they did with courageous fervor, to be farmer, builder, and observer— full of faith, hope, and the power to believe.
Today the sun was scorching and poetry had to be written, so I went searching for a new form to explore.
That’s when I discovered the “rispetto”. A rispetto is a short poetic form of Italian origin comprising of 11 syllables per line. It has 8 lines. Rispetto typically uses the ababccdd rhyme scheme.
So here is my Sunday offering. A rispetto about rain on a scorching day. Wishing all of you that respite of rain.
Somewhere in my mind it is always raining— like the sound of thundering rooftop dancing, while cozy fires burns brightly maintaining the mood. And all the signs are there enhancing the idea that I am moving toward sound so powerful it cannot be ignored. Refreshed, re-energized, and renewed I rise— much like flowers after that rain, I surmise.
Today’s prompt was based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question.
The challenge was to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.
Today was the day, rising
early to head to the water.
Was that the grasses waving
good morning as we drove by?
Squinting against the sun shining,
who did I hear whistling
high-pitched and clear through the sky?
What bright sparkling caught my eye?
Whose nest was filled with littered bits —
brilliant twig jewels in morning light?
All at once I saw them coming
fast and furious diving downward flight
orienting with the wind, floating
on air, streaking like lightning
hunting by high dive, plucking fish
like cherries from the fresh water.
Head buried underwater, tucking
talons back, gripping their wriggling
prey on upward ascent. Tell me,
what do you whisper to the wind?
--A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan
The poetry prompt for today came indirectly from Billy Collins via a Master Class on poetry. The challenge was to write a poem six to twelve lines long and containing only one sentence. My inspiration came from an article I read on giraffe humming.
Did you know that giraffe hum to one another when they sleep?
Well, at least giraffe in captivity do. The experts can only guess about what happens in the enclosures at night, but they have these amazing rich sound recordings of a deep harmonizing hum.
Many have hypothesized about the reason for the giraffe humming. Perhaps in captivity the songs are a way of connecting. Perhaps the sounds are snoring or maybe even dream sounds.
For me, I don’t need to know the reason why giraffe hum, I just need to listen to them. It’s the kind of sound that mends the earth.